Responses from headphonedreams

My new Borresen X3's
@emergingsoul people from Borresen has said a lot about the components they use. You can find interviews with them on YouTube. Maybe people on Agon is more focused on resale value than sound or internal components.  I have only heard the O5 model... 
Totem Mani-2 vs Devialet Phantoms Gold
I think @jond is right, the Mani with a good amp should be better. Maybe a bit more expensive. You do get a lot of bass from the Phantom, though.  
I'm thinking about a low watt tube amplifier?
Doesn't your friend has speakers he can recommend for the Finale amp? My guess is that you need to switch speakers and amps. I also think it is unusual with very high efficiency in stand mounts. You may have to go for a floor stander.   
Picking Speakers 20k-30k
You don't write which type of music you listen to or what type of sound you prefer. Some brands that have impressed me at shows or dealers and have offerings in the given price range: Boenicke Focal Marten Devore Fyne  Borresen   
High end speakers at low volume
Some other ideas :  Stenheim Alumine 2. I've heard the larger ones and they are great. Not sure what you or your wife thinks about the looks. In person their speakers look really well made. https://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-stenheim-alu... 
Integrating speakers into contemporary decor - can WAF ever be overcome?
Have you tried to take her to some audio stores and see which type or design she likes the most? Or dislikes the least? My wife have accepted that I want speakers in our living room. These are at least good looking when you see them in real life... 
Integrating speakers into contemporary decor - can WAF ever be overcome?
+1 @avidlistener   
Poll: Most impactful component
As many others have said speakers are probably the part that can change the sound the most. Still, an unbalanced system can sound worse than a slightly cheaper but well-balanced system. And changing just one component in a balanced system to anoth... 
the big one: how do you choose speakers? By what features, data?
I prefer to buy in a store where I can listen to the speakers first and then take them home for another listen. The last ones I bought was actually used nut sold from the store with guarantee. I could even bring my amp to the store to check that t... 
I was happy with my system for 30 years; now I need a new amp...and more?
The Vidar sounds like a good choice. I am very happy with my Schiit Ragnarok which could be an option if you are ok with switching to an SS integrated. The Orchard Starkrimson has gotten great reviews also. https://orchardaudio.com/product/stark... 
MQA Declares Bankruptcy
@kenjit All music is a scam! You get the first listen for free, get hooked and then you have to pay, some way. /j  
Real world Loudspeakers what does very good cost ?
Op, I think you need to be more clear on your budget. I think there are good speakers for lower prices but if you have $20k then you can choose from more models. I also like the MBL but they are not often for sale used. Other models I liked when ... 
Sonus Faber Olympica nova 2 VS Sonus Faber Cremona M Loudspeaker vs
I have not heard the Cremona M but SF are known to have been a nit soft and great for jazz. Maybe not the best for rock. I would go with the Golden Ear or look for other brands. Unless you can listen to the SF first and compare to other brands.  ... 
Thinking about getting some bookshelf/standmount speakers
Marten Parker Duo are fantastic. Not sure if you can find used for $5k, maybe for $6k. I personally use Canton Reference 9K and is very happy but they are a lot cheaper and not as good as the Marten's. Boenicke W5 are great. Fyne has some great ... 
Full range speakers, 40"-44" max height
Fyne F502 might be good. Or these Swedish open baffle ones. Had really good bass when I heard them. https://www.lindstromaudio.com/